Carnitine and Weight Loss


Carnitine is a non-essential amino acid that can be synthesized from the essential amino acid lysine. Deficiencies are therefore rare.

It has been marketed as a weight loss supplement, yet there is no scientific evidence to date to show that it improves weight loss.

A recent study of moderately overweight women found that it did not significantly alter body weight, body fat, or lean body mass. Based on the results of this one small study, claims that it helps reduce weight are not supported at this time.

In theory, it is thought to be helpful for improving exercise performance. However, studies in healthy athletes have not yet proven this theory.

However, it has been helpful in varying degrees with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, high cholesterol, dementia, Down’s syndrome, kidney disease, male infertility, and Peyronie’s Disease. Anyone using it for any of these conditions should, of course, be under a physician's care.

Dietary Sources

Red meat (particularly lamb) and dairy products are the primary sources. It can also be found in fish, poultry, tempeh (fermented soybeans), wheat, asparagus, avocados, and peanut butter. Cereals, fruits, and vegetables contain little or none.

The information above was gathered from a report from the University of Maryland Medical Center.


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